Beat the Heat

As I write I have been watching the rain fall onto the scorching blacktop streets of my neighborhood.   It feels good on the porch in the evenings.  But, the middle of the day is a bit unbearable for me.  Summertime is no joke in Alabama.  I remember moving South the summer of 1985.  July to be exact.  Being that I moved from way up North…it seriously took me two entire weeks for my system to adjust.  Heat is not anything for anyone to play around with. It can be particularly concerning for the elderly.  Here are some tips to help our seniors keep their cool this summer.

Drink Up! The key to staying healthy is to stay hydrated!  Drink eight or more 8-ounce glasses per day of water every day.  Be aware of the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The most common signs of dehydration in the elderly are thirst, confusion, irritability and poor skin elasticity.  So, don’t wait…HYDRATE!

walking man sweat

Block the Rays!  Protect your skin from sun damage by wearing hats, sunglasses and don’t forget the sunscreen!  Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.  Remember as we age, our skin becomes more sensitive to the sun.

 

Dress for Sunny Success!  When selecting what to wear go with loose-fitting clothes in light colors that will reflect the sun and heat instead of darker colors that will absorb heat.  This will help you avoid a sunburn and stay cool.

couple biking

It’s important to know that extreme heat can wreak havoc on older adults.  According to healthinaging.org, “Every summer, nearly 200 Americans die of health problems caused by high heat and humidity. Hot weather is more likely to cause health problems for older adults for a variety of reasons. These reasons include aging-related physical changes in the body, chronic health conditions, and even side effects of taking some medications.”  Remember heat and dehydration may make seniors more prone to dizziness and falls and can cause/increase confusion. But the proper precautions can help set them up for success. If the heat is too extreme…stay inside with air conditioning!  Keep you and your elderly loved ones safe this summer and do your part to help them beat the heat.

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Coffee or Tea? Which Has the Best Health Benefits?

Put down that coffee mug and grab your tea cup.  Tea is officially “good for you” in that it is loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals which benefit your health in lots of ways.  Real Tea is made from a particular plant (Camellia sinensis) and only comes in four varieties black, white, green and oolong.  Anything else like “herbal tea” is an infusion of other plants and technically not Tea.

Below are some ways that Tea can benefit our health:

  • Tea can boost exercise endurance, helping us keep those New Year’s resolutions to exercise more.
  • Some research studies have indicated that Tea can help protect against cardiovascular disease or heart attack.
  • The antioxidant properties of Tea can help fight various cancers according to some research.
  • Tea helps keep us hydrated.
  • Green Tea can help our bodies’ better process sugars.
  • Green Tea has been shown to improve bone density and strength.

So get out those tea pots and brew some tea.  While you are at it, try several different varieties to see which ones you like best.  Who knew drinking Tea could be good for you!